- How to Weld Plastic Together
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The process of welding plastics together is called thermoplastic welding and involves heating two pieces of plastic until they bond at their junction. This blog post will show you 8 simple steps on how to weld plastic together!
Many plastics are made with polyvinyl chloride, which is a petroleum-based substance. This makes it susceptible to gas and chemical attacks that can cause the plastic to weaken, crack or even melt.
How to Weld Plastic Together
Step 1: Choose the right plastic welding rod
The first step is to choose the right welding rod for the job. There are many different types of rods, each with its own set of characteristics. Make sure you select a rod that will work well with the type of plastic you’re using.
Step 2: Prepare the surfaces
Before welding, make sure both surfaces are clean and free from dirt, grease, or other contaminants. Any imperfections on the surfaces will be visible through your welding rod as a line in your finished product.
Step 3: Heat both surfaces
Using an acetylene torch with a sharp tip, heat each surface to 550° Fahrenheit until they’re hot enough that you can see it glowing red-orange. The plastic should also have a dull sheen to it once heated properly.
Using propane instead of acetylene, use similar temperatures for heating but do not let them get quite hot prior to beginning welding because this type of gas burns hotter than acetylene does at full flame power. Do not touch either surface while heating because doing so may cause injury if there is any residual plastic left on your hands from a previous welding job.
Step 4: Apply the rod
Once both surfaces are hot, quickly apply the welding rod to the surface and hold it there for around five seconds. The plastic will begin to flow and will weld itself together. Using too much pressure when applying the rod can cause distortion in the finished product; too little pressure won’t create a strong enough weld.
Step 5: Allow the plastic to cool
After welding, allow the plastic to cool completely before handling it. Depending on the size of your project, this could take anywhere from minutes to hours. Do not try to hurry along the cooling process by blowing on it or submerging it in cold water. Doing so may damage your finished product.
Step 6: Clean up and inspect the welds
After allowing it to cool, you can clean off any excess plastic with a standard household solvent like acetone or lacquer thinner. Inspect the surface of your project for rough edges caused by welding too quickly; use a grinder tool if necessary to smooth out these areas, so they’re even all around.
If there are tiny holes in the surface that weren’t filled properly during the welding process, fill them in using more melted rod material before continuing on to step seven.
Step 7: Repeat steps three through six as needed
As stated earlier, depending on how big your job is and what type of plastic you’re working with, this entire process could take anywhere from minutes to hours. If you find yourself needing a break during a project, simply take it and let the plastic cool before going back to work on it!
Step 8: Finish your job by sanding or grinding
Once all of your weldings are complete, finish up with light sanding around any welds that come out uneven or do not look smooth. You can also use this time to add an extra layer of protection from rust using paint if desired.
Once completely finished, you may have some leftover pieces of rod material leftover. Feel free to discard these safely in the trash, so they don’t pose a hazard while handling other products later down the line.
Welding plastics together doesn’t have to be difficult when done properly. Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll be able to create a strong, lasting weld every time!
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